Wow, hold on to your chair Star Wars fans, because we have a lot to discuss! As always, major potential spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned. The new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi features several major surprises, including a scene that hints at Rey turning to the dark side. What a twist that would be!
Of course, this is Star Wars we’re talking about. They love red herrings and misdirection, so everything we saw in the trailer could be designed to lead us one way and then spin us around in another once we hit the theaters. After all, we’ve now seen, what, five total minutes of the movie all spliced together creatively? At any rate, we took a dive into that The Last Jedi trailer and analyzed seven key moments, including whether Rey might turn to the dark side.
1. Who is Snoke talking to?
The trailer opens with several images of Kylo Ren and the First Order, with Supreme Leader Snoke narrating the scene. He says, “When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special.”
Because of the imagery, we’re probably to assume that he’s talking to Kylo in this moment. But what if he’s not? It probably makes more sense that he’s talking to Rey, given what we see later in the trailer.
We saw in Star Wars: The Force Awakens how Snoke reacts to the news that Rey has resisted Kylo’s attempts to read her mind. He tells Ren that if this is true, to bring her to him. So, the notion that he’s obsessing about Rey the way the Emperor obsessed about Luke Skywalker is probably not far off the mark. Could Snoke toss Kylo Ren aside, as Han Solo suggested he would, in favor of Rey? Or could his intentions with our hero be far darker?
2. Just how powerful is Rey?
One of the big topics among fans after The Force Awakens was how quickly Rey discovered her powers, without any training whatsoever. Some fans didn’t like, for example, her being able to use the Jedi mind trick on a Stormtrooper without anyone ever explaining how to do it. How could she be able to use the Force in a way that took Luke weeks to learn? Other Jedi trained in their whole adolescence to utilize Force power in that way.
The trailer may have the answer to those questions. We see Rey, while focusing on something with her eyes closed, split the ground right underneath where she and Luke stand. Luke’s face upon seeing this tells you everything: He’s horrified.
“I’ve seen this kind of raw strength only once before,” Luke tells her. “It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”
The implication is that Luke is referring to his training of his nephew, Ben Solo, who would be easily manipulated by Snoke into turning against Luke, his family, and the Jedi Academy. Will Rey’s obvious power deter Luke from continuing her training?
3. Is Kylo Ren speaking to Rey?
The trailer turns to Kylo Ren, who seems unhappy with himself. We see Ren smashing his own helmet, which is a drawback to seeing the crushed helmet on the floor in the first teaser trailer. Ren narrates the scene, stating: “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”
As he speaks, we see Ren in his Tie Silencer destroying Resistance ships and setting his targeting system to the ship holding his mother, Leia Organa. It’s a dramatic moment where the focus is on Ren hesitating to fire, much like he hesitated on Starkiller Base when tasked with killing his father.
Of course, Ren did kill Han Solo — much to the chagrin of Star Wars fans everywhere. Could he kill his mother, yet another iconic character from the franchise? That question remains unanswered, but the bigger question here is who Ren’s monologue is aimed at. Is he speaking to Rey, attempting to manipulate her mind?
4. Does the trailer tease Leia’s fate?
Going back for a moment, it’s hard to ignore the effect that Carrie Fisher’s death has had on the franchise. Fans everywhere mourned her passing in January 2017, shortly after she finished her shoots for The Last Jedi. Director Rian Johnson has said that they’ll wrap her story in a way that is satisfying and honors her.
“Carrie gives a really beautiful performance in the film,” said Johnson. “We obviously didn’t make the movie to be her final Star Wars movie … So ‘wraps up nicely,’ I don’t know but it emotionally gives some kind of catharsis I guess, gives some kind of emotional satisfaction, I really think so, I hope so.”
Recently, Mark Hamill has suggested that the wrap on Leia’s story won’t come in The Last Jedi, but in Episode IX. Speaking at an event, Hamill seemingly confirmed that Leia will survive The Last Jedi and that they’ll “close out Fisher’s story in 9.”
While that moment in the trailer provides emotional anxiety and gives us another peek at the torment inside of Kylo’s mind, we’re going to bet he can’t bring himself to kill his own mother.
5. What is Snoke doing to Rey?
We finally get our first real look at Snoke, in the flesh. He’s just as ugly as we assumed. Snoke’s disfigured face is somewhat obscured by his hand, which he is holding out toward Rey. We see him pulling on her through the Force in some strange way, while she cries out in pain. What, exactly, is happening here?
We have a theory, although it’s totally unconfirmed. Rumors have been bouncing around the internet that Snoke is an ancient being that feeds off the essence of Force users. He was awakened during Order 66, the theory goes, and has been regenerating through the deaths of Jedi. It could be that, in this moment of the trailer, Snoke is attempting to draw the life force from Rey.
That’s just a theory, and even more, it’s a theory that’s based on unconfirmed rumors. But how crazy would it be if that turned out to be true?
6. ‘Fulfill your destiny’
During that same scene, Snoke utters the phrase “Fulfill your destiny” to Rey. If you were thinking you’d heard this line before, you have. Emperor Palpatine says it to Anakin Skywalker in his office after he kills Mace Windu, and later to Luke Skywalker when he pleads with him to take his father’s place in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
“Fulfill your destiny” is a loaded phrase in Star Wars, and, for better or worse, it always precedes a character fulfilling their destiny. What is going to happen with Rey? We can’t imagine that Snoke successfully removes her life force and kills her. What other theories could there be? Is he trying to force her to feel the dark side within, manipulating her into becoming his servant like he had done with Kylo Ren?
7. Could Rey turn to the dark side?
The big, shocking twist at the end of the trailer starts with Rey speaking to an unknown person. She says: “I need someone to show me my place in all this.” We then see the face of Kylo Ren, with a familiar look on his face. He seems to be torn, once again, uncertain of the right path. Then he reaches out his hand, presumably toward Rey.
This is where the big misdirection could come into play. Is Rey really speaking to Kylo? Is he really reaching his hand out to her? Johnson has promised major twists that fans won’t see coming. Teasing Rey turning to the dark side of the Force and joining up with Kylo Ren and Snoke in the trailer is one way to make the second-biggest twist in Star Wars history way less impactful. It’s hard to imagine them doing that on purpose.
So our guess is that we’re being led astray. This could easily be two completely different scenes, cut together in a creative way and meant to trick us. If that’s true, is Rey pleading with Luke to finish her training? And then, who is Kylo Ren reaching his hand out toward?
Lucasfilm has been a master of suspense leading into The Last Jedi, which has a bigger buildup than any Star Wars film in history. Will it live up to the massive hype? We’ll find out soon enough.
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